November 8-10, 2019
All prices in Polish zlotys (zł), euros (€), US dollars ($), or British pounds (£) unless indicated otherwise
At Audio Video Show 2019, there was a large area devoted to headphones at the Warsaw National Stadium. At many of the tables, attendees waited patiently for 15 minutes or more for a chance to audition headphones and related products.
I’m going to finish off my show reporting with my last series of electronic products. At this, the close of the Audio Video Show 2019, I’d like to draw your attention to the sheer number of products we’ve presented in this show coverage. It’s a large cross-section of items, but without trying too hard I know that -- if we had time -- we could have unearthed a significant number of additional components.
More speakers! Such a diverse group -- so many ambitious designs, all coming from different countries. Audio Video Show 2019 was noticeably larger than the 2018 version, with more exhibitors, more products, and what felt like a greater number of attendees. And that meant lots of multicultural speakers for us to cover.
Well what do you know? There were a whole bunch of analog pearls hidden within the fleshy innards of Audio Video Show 2019. While my initial feeling was that there were fewer turntables actually in use this year, what I found made up in quality what it lacked in quantity.
While I was walking around the Radisson Blu Sobieski and National Stadium, it seemed like every room had new products. Every. Single. Room. Usually we have to hunt for these, but there was no escaping components that needed our attention. We found a wealth of opportunities for show coverage here at Audio Video Show 2019. All prices are shown in Polish zlotys (zł) or euros (€). (Currently, the zloty trades at approximately US$0.26. Note that prices in Europe typically include value-added tax, which in Poland is 23%.)
The day-one crowds at the Warsaw Audio Video Show were pretty good, but on day two the joint was jumping -- among the busiest I’ve ever seen at a consumer audio show. Moreover, the demographic mix was far more diverse than the male boomer crowd you typically see at North American audio shows. There were lots of young couples and singles, and young families with children, too. And the kids didn’t look like they were at the show under protest.
I had high hopes for a multi-part analog article for this show report, as I recall being inundated with turntable after turntable at last year’s Audio Video Show. However, in the first two days here at the show I haven’t seen anywhere near as many analog rigs, so I’m a little skeptical of whether I’ll be able to glean enough products to warrant a second part. But no matter! Let’s get it on, shall we? All prices are shown in Polish zlotys (zł) or euros (€). (Currently, the zloty trades at approximately US$0.26. Note that prices in Europe typically include a value-added tax, which in Poland is 23%.)
“I’m too old to do something only for money,” Peter Lyngdorf said wryly as we sat at Costa Coffee, just down the street from Warsaw’s Radisson Blu Sobieski Hotel, where I was staying. It was a day before Audio Video Show 2019 opened.
Between the Radisson Blu Sobieski and National Stadium exhibits, it didn’t take long to fill up my buffer with a whole pile of speakers to write about. Audio Video Show 2019 seems to have grown this year, and there’s a ton to cover. Let’s get right down to it, with all prices shown in Polish zlotys (zł), euros (€), or British pounds (£). (Currently, the zloty trades at approximately US$0.26. Note that prices in Europe typically include a value-added tax, which in Poland is 23%.)
You might not think a major stadium, built for events like soccer, basketball, and motorcycle racing, would be suitable for an audio show. But Warsaw’s PGE Narodowy, or National Stadium, is the main venue for the Audio Video Show, and it works really well. There are two levels of exhibits at the stadium, some in hallways, and others in box suites overlooking the athletic field. Two hotels also serve as venues for the Audio Video Show -- these host mainly high-end exhibitors.
There’s a planted, landed feeling of comfort that I acquire at shows, and it’s directly associated with the various hotel lobby bars. At the Montréal Audio Fest, it’s the brutalist architecture and excellent club sandwich in the Hotel Bonaventure Montréal. Back in my CES days, I acquired my center when I saw the same crusty bartender pouring my morning coffee at the now-demolished, where-bums-go-to-die San Remo Hotel.
Vinyl is a labor of love -- every aspect of it requires personal interaction. I’ve known this for years now. Setting up a cartridge, aligning it, cleaning the stylus. Cleaning a record -- both a wet wash on a machine or a quick swipe with a carbon-fiber brush. All a part of the life cycle of an LP-based system.
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